Date of Award

Fall 2017

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Se Young Yoon

Second Advisor

Andrew L. Kun

Third Advisor

May-Win Thein


This thesis aims to introduce a new framework for the distributed control of multi-agent systems with adjustable swarm control objectives. Our goal is twofold: 1) to provide an overview to how time-varying objectives in the control of autonomous systems may be applied to the distributed control of multi-agent systems with variable autonomy level, and 2) to introduce a framework to incorporate the proposed concept to fundamental swarm behaviors such as aggregation and leader tracking. Leader-follower multi-agent systems are considered in this study, and a general form of time-dependent artificial potential function is proposed to describe the varying objectives of the system in the case of complete information exchange. Using Lyapunov methods, the stability and boundedness of the agents' trajectories under single order and higher order dynamics are analyzed. Illustrative numerical simulations are presented to demonstrate the validity of our results. Then, we extend these results for multi-agent systems with limited information exchange and switching communication topology. The first steps of the realization of an experimental framework have been made with the ultimate goal of verifying the simulation results in practice.